MAC East: Matt McDonald (Bowling Green), Karl Brooks (Bowling Green) and Alex McNulty (Buffalo)
MAC West: Samson Evans (Eastern Michigan), Kempton Shine (Eastern Michigan) and Jesus Gomez (Eastern Michigan).
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Matt McDonald, Bowling Green, QB
Senior, Newport Beach, Calif. (Mission Viejo)
McDonald led BGSU to a 34-31 win over Marshall as he found Ta'ron Keith in the endzone for the game-winning score in overtime. Marshall was ranked No. 26 in the nation, just a few points away from being in the Top 25. McDonald became the first Falcon since Matt Johnson in 2015 to throw 4+ touchdowns in back-to-back games. He had five last week against Eastern Kentucky. McDonald had scoring passes of 25 and 30 yards in the second quarter, both coming on fourth down plays. He spread the wealth with six receivers having at least 30+ receiving yards.
MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Karl Brooks, Bowling Green, Defensive End
Senior, Lansing, Mich. (Lansing Sexton HS)
Brooks led a very balanced defensive effort that caused havoc for the Marshall offense. He notched one sack and fumble recovery. His fumble recovery came inside BGSU's own five-yard line. Brooks also helped BGSU force two Marshall turnovers inside the Falcons' five-yard line. His pass rush helped BGSU hold Marshall to a FG in the first overtime, setting stage for BGSU's game-winning touchdown drive.
MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Alex McNulty, Buffalo, Kicker
Senior, Caledonia, NY (McQuaid Jesuit)
McNulty was perfect on the day, making all of his kick attempts at Coastal Carolina. The senior kicker was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and 2-for-2 on extra point attempts. McNulty made kicks of 36, 47, 42 and 26 yards. He became the first Buffalo kicker to make four field goals in a game since A.J. Principe made four field goals at Syracuse in 2007. His 14 points in the game were a career high.
MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Samson Evans, Eastern Michigan, Running Back
Senior, Crystal Lake, Ill.
Senior running back Samson Evans put together a career night in EMU’s win over ASU. The Crystal Lake, Ill. native carried the ball 36 times for 258 yards on the ground with one touchdown, an average of 7.2 yards per carry on the night. Evans also pulled in one pass for seven yards and returned one kickoff for 21 yards to finish the game with 286 all-purpose yards. The ground game, which finished with 305 yards against the Sun Devils, saw Evans record the third-highest rush total in program history and just the sixth 250-yard-plus game in program history, the first since the 2013 season (Bronson Hill, 257 vs. Ohio University, Oct. 19, 2013). Evans, who entered the game with a career-best 89 yards rushing against Eastern Kentucky University (Sept. 2) earlier this year, recorded 107 yards rushing in the fourth quarter alone as he averages 8.9 yards per carry. Additionally, when adding in his 55 yards from the third quarter, Evans’ 162 yards in the second half ranks second among full game totals for the year in the MAC behind Lew Nichols’ 166 total for Central Michigan against Bucknell (Sept. 17, 2022). His 258 yard effort is the best single-game total by any player in the NCAA this season. In addition to having the single-best rushing performance in the NCAA this season, senior Samson Evans has also been one of the most consistently good backs in the nation. He currently ranks 11th in the nation with 366 rushing yards. He is sixth in the country with a 122.0 rushing yards per game average. Additionally, Evans ranks first in the MAC and 18th nationally in all purpose yards, where he has averaged 142.33 per game in 2022.
MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Kempton Shine, Eastern Michigan, Cornerback
Junior, Chicago, Ill. (St. Rita)
Shine was instrumental in the Eagles’ 30-21 victory over the Sun Devils Sept. 17., Perhaps the most important play of the game, Shine forced and collected an ASU fumble with just minutes remaining in the game and with the Sun Devils driving into EMU territory down just nine point. The forced fumble was the second of Shine’s career, his first since punching one out against Northern Illinois, Dec. 12, 2020. It was his first fumble recovery since Nov. 27 of the same year, against Central Michigan. Shine finished the night with six total tackles, which ranked second on the team, with four solo tackles, the most among Eagle defenders.
MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Jesus Gomez, Eastern Michigan, Kicker
Sophomore, Puebla, Mexico (Prepa Tec Puebla)
Sophomore kicker Jesus Gomez split the uprights on a 27-yard field goal attempt with 11:04 in the first quarter. It was the first field goal make of his career. Moreover, it was the first three-point attempt for Eastern Michigan this season. Prior to Saturday’s game, EMU had not made a field goal since Dec. 18, 2021, against Liberty University. Gomez finished the contest a perfect 3-of-3 on field goal attempts, while also hitting each of his three extra-point attempts.